...supporting newly arrived refugees as they start over


Who Is A Refugee?  The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees defines a refugee as a person who has fled his or her country of origin and cannot return due to persecution (or a well founded fear of such) based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership of a particular social group.

Refugees come from various cultural, socioeconomic and educational backgrounds. Some have lived in refugee camps for years facing overcrowding, hunger, poverty, and little or no health care. Children are often unable to attend school and most adults have no way to provide for their families. Through a partnership with the U.S. Department of State, National Volunteer Agencies (VOLAGS) work with local Resettlement Programs to offer clients a new opportunity in life.

About the Refugee Resettlement Program  Catholic Charities' Refugee Resettlement program assists newly arrived refugees in finding safety, stability, self-sufficiency, and integration into their new community. Since 1975, Catholic Charities has operated as an affiliate of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/ Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS) with responsibility for the provision of Reception and Placement (R&P) services to all newly arrived refugees for 90 days after arrival into the United States.

The majority of refugees to arrive in Oklahoma City and Tulsa within the first 20 years were from Southeast Asia. Since then, Catholic Charities has resettled individuals and families from Eastern Europe, the Former Soviet Union, and multiple countries in both Africa and Asia.

Services  Most refugees arrive in the US with few possessions. The Refugee Resettlement Program offers a wide range of services to help assist clients in becoming self-sufficient. Each individual or family is assigned a case manager who works with the family for up to six months from the date of their arrival. These services include: Airport reception, food, housing, clothing, financial assistance, furniture/living supplies, community orientation, transportation assistance, education, health care, job development/skills training, employment opportunities, and referrals to community partners.

Employment Services  The Refugee Resettlement program is committed to assisting our clients in reaching self-sufficiency. Stable employment is a vital step in this direction. Catholic Charities offers the Oklahoma City business community access to a variety of potential employees possessing both professional and technical skills. The talent pool represents skilled craftsmen, hard-working laborers and creative professionals.

The Right People for the Job  Refugees are fully authorized to work from the moment they arrive in the United States. They possess the documentation necessary for legal employment. Our clients desire to regain self-sufficiency and economic stability for themselves and their families. They have a deep understanding of the value of hard work and loyalty. Many of our clients bring skills and experiences that are valuable in the workplace. Some were professionals in their home countries while others are seeking entry-level positions. In fact, there are many benefits of hiring a refugee:

  • Documented candidates screened by the U.S. Department of State
  • Strong desire to work
  • High loyalty and excellent retention rates
  • Adaptability and resilience
  • Wide variety of skills and work experience
  • Employer tax credits
  • Positive attitudes
  • Quick learners
  • Life skills training
  • Enhanced cultural diversity in your staff
  • Free supprt from Catholic Charities staff

Services We Provide Employers  We provide employment assessment and job orientation to all applicants. We pre-screen applicants to match their skills with relevant job openings. We offer mediation between employers and employees. We offer post employment and on-going support to employers and our refugee clients.

Let us find the right employees for you!  "Since partnering with Catholic Charities, Propak has benefited in several ways. Our turnover has been reduced, and our work-force has stabilized. The refugees have integrated very well into our work force, and have cross-trained very well. Their work ethic has been a positive influence on our existing work force. We look forward to growing our relationship with Catholic Charities.”
– Dirk Phippen, Propak Logistics, Oklahoma City


Julie Lewis, Director
Phone: 405.523.3002
Toll Free: 1.800.375.8514
Fax: 405.523.3030


The Spero Project
4646 N. Santa Fe
Oklahoma City, OK 73118

You Can Help

To help make self-sufficiency possible for refugees in our program, please click on the links below:

Volunteer Your Time
Make A Financial Donation



1232 N Classen Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK, 73106 • (405) 523-3000